Hello Joss! How ya doing? Know you are still recovering from being the chief cook and bottle washer on Avengers Age Of Ultron. Or as I call it, your next major triumph.
Me? I am back once again for another Buffy Report Card with Season Six getting its grade this time. Season One and Season Two and Season Three and Season Four and Season Five have all been treated to my musings already as you can click and see.
Buffy Season Six not only has our beloved Slayer switch networks, but take on a bit more of a mature tone, and deal with a season long very deep storyline.
Yes, the wedding of Xander and Anya.
I touch the fire and it freezes me
Okay, gotcha, it is really Buffy coming back to the living in more ways than one.
Buffy starts off in her new network home by still being dead. Really really dead. In the ground and buried dead. But some really good and well intentioned Scoobies bring her back, very disorientated and confused for a very long time, and she has to simply adapt and live. Grin and bear it. Yeah, that really doesn’t work very well for her. Verily.
But can ya blame her Joss? She was all peaceful and happy and wonderful in heaven. Her just reward for years of service to the common good. And she is pulled out of nirvana and into the hell of earth, as Angel would put it. So begins the emotional and mental decline of Buffy this season as she wonders many many things. Should she have come back? Does she deserve to come back? Are others more worthy who did not come back? IS she bad for coming back and feeling this way? Should she be punished?
Not only does she distance herself from her family and friends, to the point of almost absolute negligence. Who is taking care of Dawn half the time and watching out Xander’s jitters? Not her.
I look into it and it’s black
All because Buffy is plunging headfirst into a very destructive and purely sexual and no emotionally core “relationship” with Spike. And yes Joss, I did write that without throwing up. Even with the domestication of Spike, he still has a looooong way to go before he makes up for all his foul deeds. So this “relationship” is not something Spike deserves just yet. Buffy knows Spike wants more, true love he is not capable of, and to be recognized as her boyfriend. But to hurt him so that he gets mad at her, since she thinks she deserves scorn, Buffy denies all this to Spike and only considers him a guilty pleasure sex partner. I am bad and you are bad, so we are together, is her twisted PTSD logic. Even after repeated lame attempts by her to end it, she never truly does. This cocktail of volatility explodes violently Joss when you have Spike attempt to rape Buffy. And this is not to blame Buffy at all. And the legitimate argument exists that Spike has no real true concept of what he has done because of the lack of a soul. But the damage is done. Buffy feels even worse about herself, which is a typical response unfortunately, and makes her life feel even more dire.
Plus, you have Buffy with terrible money woes, a horrendous job, and a successful married ex-boyfriend. All you gotta do next Joss is blow up her house. Wait, forget that, don’t get any ideas!
Why can’t I feel?
At least Buffy gets better and learns to love life and live well by the season finale. Thank you for that Joss.
Now onto the Scooby who keeps getting worse this year, my beloved Willow. Giles was right for years and years to limit and control her access and use of magic, because she simply has trouble handling it responsibly. Her self interest, which is very un Willow like, makes her think it is okay to violate the laws of nature and bring her friend back, kill a defenseless deer, erase Tara’s memory not once but twice, drive under the influence of the unearthly, bring Dawn to a magical drug dealer, and keep hanging for awhile with bad influence Amy. What is up with all that? We see her just spiral and spiral and losing everything. Just like a real addict. I feel better when Willow slowly starts to recover and move forward and see daylight.
Then you go and kill Tara, you freaking torturer Joss. I will get back to you later on this travesty Joss.
My skin should crack and peel
This makes Willow into Dark Willow and the Big Bad for season six. Very daring move and one I am sure caused controversy at the time. But unlike other Big Bads, we can sympathize with her plight. Revenge on a piece of garbage who needlessly killed her innocent love. Unfortunately that slippery slope Willow enters onto spirals her into the darkest of trying to kill and maim all, and eventually to destroy everything. Very much like Jean Grey.
Now Joss, we gotta have a little talk here. Scoop and Joss, Geek to Geek Lord. I have a quibble with you…
WHY DID YOU KILL TARA?????????????
Tara was awesome and interesting and loving and feisty and all things good and nice. You finally (finally!!) put the amazing Tara in the credits in her proper place, then in that self same episode, you very violently snatch her away from us. I know there has to be casualties in this never ending war against evil, but Tara being one really really hurts.
I want the fire back
Aside from her death (grr argh!), Tara had a very emotional and turbulent season. Not once, but twice you had Willow memory wipe Tara. That pissed me off, and for the first time make me dislike Willow. We can’t blame Tara for leaving, eventhrough she showed more sympathy for Buffy over Spike than to Willow, and we know how deeply it all affected her. After all, Tara’s stutter re-emerged during this time. The one upside, is unlike when Cordelia left the Scoobies for awhile in season two, Tara stays friends with them all, even if she is not an active participant in the adventures.
Now from one troubled soul to another troubled soul. Yes, the former Key, Dawn. Our moody teen does not take Buffy’s well, or her lackluster return, and turns to kleptomania as her coping mechanism. Heck, she even finds out Joss that Buffy’s perfect world in Normal Again has no Dawn in it. Even with all these issues, it still annoys me that everyone but Spike treats her like a five year old. Dawn will date and kiss, just like they all did.
Now, through the smoke she calls to me
A troubled soul of his own making is our back to being a jerk Xander. Leaves Anya at the alter? That was stupid Joss. Just because his parents are disasters, doe not mean his life will be. Then he goes homicidal in a not nice way because Anya and Spike have sex. Jerk times two much? And drowning his idiotness with booze? Brilliant, not. His only saving grace was saving the day at the end of the season by bringing Dark Willow back to being Willow. That was the caring Xander we know and love.
By the way Joss, I do feel sad for the slightly self centered Anya. But going back to the vengeance demon profession? Not a good sign, not a good sign at all.
To make my way across the flame
Spike. I really hate this “relationship” and was against it and glad it is done. And the violent, brutal way this twisted thing between the two ends. Gut punch Joss. But one weird funny thing is, Spike is the only Scooby who really understands what Buffy is going through. And the implications of her coming back. His returned soul will make his attempted rape go nuclear in his emotions. As it should.
Now onto our mostly missing Scooby this year, the Watcher we all love Giles. You have him scamper back to Britain and that twists the stake in my heart. Why is he abandoning the Scoobies as they plow rudderless through life? And yes Buffy does become overly reliant on her real dad, but leaving will not cure the issues these young people face. But at least he helps save the day, and provide a good laugh, at the end of the season. Interestingly, Buffy never told Giles of the attempted rape.
In fact, would Buffy have told anyone? Xander just happen to show up when he did. You are reflecting an unfortunate reality of sexual assault victims.
To save the day or maybe melt away
Which brings up the social issues you featured this year Joss, topics to expound on that are near and dear to your heart. The resurrection of Buffy shows how people really don’t deal with grief very well, while addictions – whether to magic or sex or attention – are destructive ideas. Money woes are bad, especially unfair, and sometimes make us run from reality. The Trio are hated for so many many reasons, partly because Jonathan is a ungrateful asshat, but mainly because they try their own attempted rape and seem quite pleased until they almost succeed. And their leader Warren is just plain evil. With good debate of if he deserves to die. Rack fits in here as well. Illegal and illicit surveillance is creepy. Buffy is so full of self hate, she even wants to be punished for deaths she has nothing to do with. Plus, PTSD is the only way to describe the massive bitchiness that Amy The Rat exhibits after her return to human form. That Joss, was one heck of a long dangling plot point.
Some of my favs this year Joss? Wonderful use of the Buffy bot and awesome having Dawn in football helmet on a motorcycle with Spike. Willow and Tara running the Summers house was a blast, and Riley’s return helped fix the damage done to him. The ambiguous never seen meeting between Buffy and Angel entices, as does her new haircut. Buffy fights Willow, then Giles fights Willow. And last but not least, Clem. Love Clem.
And a few little nitpicks, namely the ones I did not like. Life Serial with a sucky day in the life of Buffy, Gone with irresponsible and annoying Buffy, Doublemeat Palace which was just stupid, and Hell’s Bells with Xander and Anya’s non wedding.
I guess it’s all the same
But those disliked ones are far less then the many many ones that I liked. But here is a look at the ones I loved. First off, we have the immortal Once More With Feeling, which is by far the best of season six, and one of the most awesome of the series. We get Tabula Rasa, and the introduction of the amazing character Randy Giles, and Older And Far Away where Buffy’s birthday gets everyone trapped in the house. And the scary, mindbending Normal Again where Buffy might be really in a mental ward. That one had the added fun for you Joss, allowing you to point out the irregularities fans and critics constantly go on and on about.
One more season to go Joss, and soon the greatness known as Buffy The Vampire Slayer will be over. Till I hit the comics, of course.
So, I will walk through the fire
Cause where else can I turn?
I will walk through the fire
And let it—
…is currently reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller